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Hilton Hanoi Opera 3.5

Hanoi, Vietnam

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • French Quarter location next to the Hanoi Opera House
  • A five- to 10-minute walk from shopping, dining, and Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Spacious rooms with air-conditioning and minibars
  • Suites with city views and Executive Lounge access
  • Outdoor pool surrounded by sun beds
  • Bright fitness center with modern equipment and indoor hot tub 
  • Vietnamese and international restaurants
  • Sports bar, lobby lounge, and bakery with terrace
  • Meeting rooms and a business center available
  • Free Wi-Fi in public spaces (free hotel-wide WI-Fi for select HHonors members)

Cons

  • Interiors throughout the hotel -- including rooms -- need updates
  • Fees for everything from breakfast to parking
  • Wi-Fi only free for certain HHonors members
  • No on-site spa

Bottom Line

Hilton Hanoi Opera is a three-and-a-half-pearl hotel situated in the French Quarter next to the Hanoi Opera House. This is one of the most well-known properties in the city, and draws a mix of tourists and business travelers with it's easy walks to Hoan Kiem Lake, shopping, and dining. Unfortunately, while the hotel initially appears opulent, much of it is outdated. The 268 spacious rooms include minibars and outdated bathrooms, but the clashing colors and patterns aren't pleasant and Wi-Fi is only free for Hilton members. Features include an outdoor pool, Vietnamese and international restaurants, and a sports bar. Guests looking for a more intimate property with an Old Quarter address plus a spa and cinema room should consider the Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa, where rates are lower.

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Scene

Upscale French Quarter hotel with vast interiors and outdated style

One of Hanoi's most famous hotels, Hilton Hanoi Opera is situated next to the Hanoi Opera House, in the city's charming French Quarter. Designed to complement the stately opera house, the towering property has a pale yellow neo-Baroque facade that makes an imperial impression. However, despite a high ceiling, lots of marble, tall pillars, and a glimmering chandelier it all feels a bit vast and unintentionally retro. Of course, the towering space has its charms, and manages to impress plenty of guests -- after all, it's massive and feels grand -- though it falls far short of the hotel's luxury claims on closer inspection. Some areas, such as the lobby lounge with bright orange furniture, could use a refresh, while rooms are filled with clashing colors and patterns. Other gathering places have a bit of old-school charm, particularly the Vietnamese restaurant with an atrium section and open-air bar, and the vibe throughout the hotel is bustling, but not busy, given its perennial popularity. Given its brand name and high profile, the hotel draws a mix of leisure travelers and business guests.

Location

French Quarter location near dining, a five-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake

Map of Hilton Hanoi Opera

Hilton Hanoi Opera is in the French Quarter, a district established in the late 19th century during the French occupation of Vietnam. The area isn't as packed and noisy as the Old Quarter, and instead features wide-tree lined streets plus plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants, and French colonial architecture. The hotel sits next to the Hanoi Opera House, a 1911 neoclassical building modeled after the Opera Garnier in Paris. Just three minutes away on foot is the National Museum of Vietnamese History. It's about a five- to 10-minute stroll to the southern end of Hoan Kiem Lake (Turtle Lake). An island in the lake features Ngoc Son Temple, which will take 15 minutes to reach on foot. Just north and west of the lake is the vibrant Old Quarter, which is packed with shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants -- it's an atmospheric, hectic part of town that's great for strolling and people watching. 

The Vietnam War-era Hoa Lo Prison (dubbed the "Hanoi Hilton" by American military prisoners) is a five-minute drive from the hotel or 15-minute walk. A bit farther out are the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Imperial Citadel of Thang Long -- these will take over 10 minutes to reach by car or 35 minutes by bus from the hotel. Noi Bai International Airport is a 45-minute drive from the hotel. Several bus stops are a short walk from the hotel, and the Hanoi Railway Station is a 10-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride away. 

Rooms

Spacious Vietnamese rooms with marble bathrooms, well-stocked minibars, and flat-screen TVs

Rooms, Executive Rooms, and Suites at the Hilton are decorated in traditional Vietnamese style that won't please everyone's eye. The look is a dated take on traditional, and there are plenty of clashing colors and patterns all around. All rooms have wood furnishings with classically Asian silhouettes, and most have light green carpet, red upholstered chairs and bedskirts, and floral-print Vietnamese-style wallpaper. Striped curtains further complicate the scene. Beds are comfortable, with padded headboards, thick mattresses, and white sheets. Dated torch lamps don't do much to upgrade the look, and it's worth noting that stains, peeling paint, and thin and faded carpet may all be issues. Rooms range from 387 to 807 square feet (36 to 75 square meters) in size, so all are spacious. 

All rooms come with nice perks like free daily newspapers and large flat-screen TVs with a good range of English and premium channels. Closets have slatted-wood doors and hold well-stocked minibars, kettles for coffee and tea, and safes. Each room has a work desk, but Wi-Fi comes with a fee in rooms except for Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. The well-lit, but outdated, bathrooms are clad in light brown granite and tile, and all have separate tubs and showers. Makeup mirrors, robes and slippers, and toiletries are provided. Suites and Executive Rooms also come with an additional host of in-hotel features detailed below. Non-smoking rooms are available.

Features

Outdoor swimming pool, indoor hot tub, fitness center, and several restaurants and bars

Unlike many central Hanoi hotels, the Hilton has a swimming pool. It's a good place to cool off from the intense Vietnam heat, and at about 50 feet (or 15 meters), it's long enough for a decent swim. A hot tub is indoors next to the fitness center, which offers several modern treadmills, a stair-stepper, recumbent bikes, free weights, weight machines, and a flat-screen TV. 

The breakfast buffet features a cooked-to-order egg station, Vietnamese items like pho, as well as cereal, breads, pastries, fruit, coffee, and juice -- it's not included with most room rates, though it does get good marks from previous guests. The main restaurant has an open-air bar and serves Vietnamese cuisine, with dishes like beef baked in bamboo and stir-fried ostrich tenderloin with black pepper sauce. Room service is available. The second restaurant offers Opera House views and serves a la carte international cuisine, specializing in Mediterranean fare, seasonal dishes, and salads. The sports bar has several big flat-screen TVs and serves a wide range of beers, local cocktails, and snacks. The lobby lounge pours signature cocktails and has candlelight and live piano music in the evenings. The bakery has a terrace and sells breads, cakes, and pastries, as well as newspapers, magazines, and postcards. 

The hotel also has meeting rooms with space for up to 500 guests, and a business center. Other services include a concierge and uniformed bell staff. The hotel can arrange for guided tours and airport transfers (both for a fee). Parking is available for a fee. Those in Suites and Executive Rooms have access to the Executive Lounge with perks like a staffed business center, free continental breakfast, and evening happy hour with free alcohol and food, like poached snapper and grilled duck breast. Wi-Fi is free in public areas for all guests, but is only free for select HHonors guests elsewhere. All manner of services are on offer, including babysitting and laundry.

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Address

1 Le Thanh Tong St.,, Hoan Kiem Dist.,, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam

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